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New Fic: It's Not Easy Being Green

It’s Not Easy Being Green
Fandom: Star Trek Enterprise
Rated: G
Category: Humor, Trip/T’Pol Friendship.
Season: Two.
Spoilers: Minor for Broken Bow, Breaking the Ice, Vanishing Point.
Summary: It’s not easy being green, but it sure gets a bit better with some help.
Disclaimer: Why bicker about who owns what? Can’t we all just live long and prosper?
Note: This one’s for @Mage, over on Twitter, because she asked for it. Also for @lpff and @MPaulcook, who have both been there for me in this situation. (Oh, yes. They have.)

xxx

T'Pol was Vulcan.
 
And Vulcans, as a rule, don't care for water.
 
They aren't the best swimmers, despite their physical capabilities. Beaches hold little appeal for them beyond warm sand, and they certainly don't sail. Boats are less appealing to them than tenacious grit under their third eyelids.
 
So T'Pol wasn't exactly sure how Commander Tucker had talked her into a sailing excursion during the short shore leave she'd been ordered to take on Deneva by Captain Archer. All she knew was that she was decidedly not enjoying it.

Her traveling companion seemed to notice her discomfort, and he looked at her with concern as a light mist sprayed over the bow of their small craft.
 
He seemed to revel in this natural shower and a smile started to cross his face, but another glance at her replaced that with a worried look. Slowly, carefully, he spoke to her.
 
“You okay, T’Pol? You’re lookin’ a little green about the gills.”

T’Pol’s brow furrowed, which earned her the slightest grin from Trip.

“Since my skin naturally has a greenish tint due to my Vulcan physiology and since I most definitely do not have gills, I am uncertain as to your meaning, Commander. I do not under-”

T’pol’s voice cut off mid-syllable, and Trip’s eyes widened slightly in wariness as her skin flushed an even more verdant shade of green. He took a half step away from her.

A second later, his caution was warranted, as T’Pol vomited over the side of the ship.

When she was finished, he took a full step back toward her and laid one hand on her shoulder.

“Yeah, ah, what I meant was …”

T’Pol lifted her head and her eyes narrowed at Trip. The change was subtle, but for a Vulcan she was practically glaring.

Trip got the message that this was all his fault loud and clear. His hand retreated and he moved back to his former position.

“Yeah, ah, well…” he stammered. “I’m sure you figured out on your own what that means, and um, I’ll just go back in the cabin and see if the med kit has anything that might help.”

“That would probably be best,” bit out T’Pol.

Trip turned and flew into the cabin faster than should have been possible on a pitching boat. He rummaged in the med kit frantically, and when he didn’t find what he needed, he tore open every cabinet on the ship. Still coming up empty, he sighed and sat down on the floor in frustration.

Desperate to find some sort of solution, and not at all looking forward to facing a nauseous T’Pol without one, he pulled the med kit across the floor and dug through it a second time.

Finally, when he’d almost given up and thus resigned himself to an eternity of Vulcan punishment, he dumped the entire contents of the bag onto the floor. And somehow, against all odds, his effort was rewarded. For there, hiding amongst the bandage materials, was a gleaming silver cylinder. It was as beautiful a sight as he’d ever seen.

Now, Trip Tucker was no stranger to gastrointestinal upset. He’d faced some tremendous hangovers in his day, and he’d had his share of stomach flu, too, but never in all his life was he happier to find a hypospray of trimeclizine.

Ever.

A short time later, after he’d injected T’Pol with the drug, Trip leaned on the starboard rail of the little boat he’d rented and stared out at the horizon. He did this because he enjoyed it, but suddenly an old seafaring tradition came back to him and he glanced at T’Pol, who mirrored his position on the port side of the ship.

“You feelin’ better?” he asked.

T’Pol nodded slowly. “Yes. Thank you, Commander.”

Trip nodded back. “Good. You know, they say it helps if you keep your eyes on the horizon.”

“I’ll try to remember that,” said T’Pol.

Trip grinned as he returned his gaze to the ocean around him. T’Pol had said the exact same thing to him the first time he’d met her, just a short fifteen months ago, when he’d asked her to call him by his nickname instead of his rank or full name.

Clearly, he hadn’t made much progress in the name department, but in other ways, T’Pol had made huge strides toward living more comfortably with humans. He never would have guessed that he’d ever have gotten T’Pol on a boat even last week, much less back then. And once the seasickness had set in, well, he was amazed she hadn’t demanded he turn the boat around and return her to Enterprise immediately.

Suddenly, Trip’s brow creased in confusion. He acutely realized that he didn’t have to turn the boat around to return T’Pol to Enterprise. Both he and T’Pol had their communicators with them. Slowly, Trip’s head turned toward T’Pol. After a moment, he spoke just as slowly.

“Hey, here’s a thought,” he offered.

T’Pol turned to face him and one eyebrow rose.

Trip blinked, then continued. “Well, see, I’m confused about something.”

“And what might that be, Commander?” asked T’Pol.

Trip inwardly sighed again at T’Pol’s use of his rank, but did not address it. Instead, he bit the inside of one cheek for a moment, then pursed his lips, then finally spoke, still in a slow and careful voice.

“Well, I clean forgot about the transporters, and our communicators, for that matter, earlier. I just wanted to get something to make you feel better. But I’m guessin’ you didn’t. I’m thinkin’ you weren’t all panicky like me, not being an overly-emotional human and all, and you remembered you could get off this heap just fine.”

T’Pol’s eyebrow rose a bit more. “Your point, Commander?”

“My point is you didn’t get off this heap,” said Trip. “My point is you tossed your cookies over the side instead of beaming up to the ship.”

“Transport of biomatter is still a risky proposition,” argued T’Pol.

“Oh, come on! Hoshi and I were transported not long ago! We’re no worse for the wear!”

T’Pol gave Trip a look that obviously said she harbored some doubt about that, and Trip glared back.

“Oh, whatever,” he said. “Know what I think?”

When T’Pol didn’t answer, Trip plowed on.

“I think you’re scared. You don’t wanna use the transporter.”

“I am not intimidated by the transporter, Commander,” said T’Pol. “However, I do not believe it is wise to take unnecessary risks. Thus, I chose to remain here.”

“Yeah, but you didn’t ask to head back early, either.”

“The medication you administered seems to have worked.”

“Oh,” said Trip. “So that’s the only reason you stayed out here, then? Cuz you’re feelin’ better?”

“Indeed,” said T’Pol.

Trip took a moment to digest that, then nodded slowly.

“Wouldn’t have anything whatsoever to do with pride?”

T’Pol, who had turned to study the ocean again, whirled around toward Trip.

“What?”

“You heard me,” said Trip. “I asked if this had anything to do with pride.”

“I do not understand,” said T’Pol.

“Well,” mused Trip, “if we head back early, people are gonna ask why. And we’d have to tell ‘em something, right? I can only imagine how embarrassing it might be to have to own up to pukin’ all down the side of the boat, is all. Not very Vulcan of you, you know.”

The subtle glare T’Pol had aimed at Trip earlier returned in full force.

Trip raised his hands in front of his chest in mock surrender and leaned back on the rail. “I just call it like I see it,” he murmured.

For a long moment, the only sound was the lapping of the waves on the side of the boat.

Then Trip took a page from T’Pol’s book and lifted an eyebrow at her, and eventually, she spoke in the same slow, careful voice Trip had used all day.

“Commander,” she said, “you have proven yourself capable of discretion in the past.”

Trip nodded in response but said nothing, and soon T’Pol continued.

“I would appreciate it if you would do so again today.”

Trip nodded again, not quite trusting himself to speak without teasing the clearly touchy Vulcan. T’Pol took this as the agreement it was and nodded deeply back at him.

“Thank you. I consider this a favor of great personal value.”

Trip shrugged and finally found his voice. “Ah, don’t worry about it, T’Pol. You’re not the first green sailor to lose her lunch.”

T’Pol blinked and Trip put one hand over his face.

“I did it again, didn’t I?” he asked.

“If you mean that you used a colloquial human expression again, then yes, you did. However, I believe this one is easy to interpret. ‘Green’ in this case merely means novice. A beginner.”

“You got it,” said Trip. “The queasiness fades with time. You’ll see.”

T’Pol exhaled out her nose, and Trip would have sworn the breath was meant as a snort of derision. Again finding himself not wanting to speak for fear he’d go too far, Trip merely turned back to the ocean, knowing that he was dead right about T’Pol’s pride and that he’d have a hard job getting T’Pol on a boat ever again. That was about as likely as him telling Malcolm what had happened here today, which was to say that it was never going to happen.

After all, while now was not the right time to introduce her to yet another human expression, Trip knew that a truly ancient one applied to his situation, and he couldn’t help but chuckle at the thought. If T’Pol heard him, she ignored it, and only the ocean saw the triumphant grin that spread across Trip’s face as he silently shared an age-old secret with the waves.

Discretion really is the better part of valor.

xxx

Comments

( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
aethre
Dec. 10th, 2010 04:21 am (UTC)
Hahaha you're so right, your music choice is awesome!

As is the fic! Seasick Vulcan <3 And embarrassed and prideful too! You're making me want to watch Enterprise now, XD I have seen such a woefully small amount of Star Trek. ):

And thanks so much for filling my request! Yay for sick != pregnancy!

ETA: Whoops, hit post instead of preview on the fake iPhone. And I just knew I did something silly with the HTML.

Edited at 2010-12-10 04:23 am (UTC)
jackwabbit
Dec. 10th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)
Thanks on all counts! I'm glad you liked it! I hope it helps make your cold and finals at least a bit better!

(And yeah, no preggers here! That's why the fic is set very specifically in time. To make that abundantly clear to those more familiar with ENT. Hee, hee, hee!)
aethre
Dec. 10th, 2010 05:27 pm (UTC)
It certainly helped last night, but I'm sicker now, though I suspect that's because I got to the stage of sickness where it is physically impossible to sleepy. Yay. (Though at least I'm not puking, eh?)
jackwabbit
Dec. 10th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Sorry it's worse, but hang in there! This too shall pass.
aethre
Dec. 10th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
I am going to have soup and it is going to make everything better!
jackwabbit
Dec. 10th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Me too! (At lunch right now.)
graygale
Dec. 10th, 2010 04:36 am (UTC)
This was really great to read. Enjoyed it, a lot.
jackwabbit
Dec. 10th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
Thanks! I'm glad to bring some happy!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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